Chemistry Experiments to be Enhanced Thanks to National Grant

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s chemistry students will have some new and exciting hands-on experiences thanks to a grant that will help provide new instrumentation.

Nebraska Wesleyan’s Chemistry Department has been awarded a Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grant for $10,000. The grant will help fund a Waters Breeze 2 HPLC System. Nebraska Wesleyan is one of 12 schools in the nation to receive the grant.

Nathanael Fackler, Associate Professor of Chemistry, said the new instrumentation provides the opportunity for additional lab experiments that emphasize quantitative separation and purification methods.

“Besides the flexibility such instrumentation offers with regard to experiment choices, there is a certain ‘wow’ factor and analysis simplicity that creates greater student excitement and interest in chemistry,” said Fackler.

Such instrumentation can be used to help chemistry students quantify the compound in commercial hot sauces or caffeine in a range of beverages.

The equipment will be primarily used by first and second-year chemistry students, however its use will also be encouraged in junior and senior level courses. Approximately 16 percent of Nebraska Wesleyan’s undergraduate students major in chemistry.

The Chemistry Department will also purchase four ion-selective probes and a Vernier Lab Quest device, which enables students to have an alternate measurement technique. Funding for this equipment was awarded to Nathanael Fackler through the Kenneth R. Holder Fellowship. The fellowship is awarded annually to a professor to use for instructional improvement.

In addition to the grant recently awarded to the Chemistry Department, Nebraska Wesleyan University has been the recipient of a few other grants, including:

  • Nebraska Wesleyan University National History Day: Nebraska — $5,000 from National History Day to use for program improvement of the state History Day competition, hosted and planned each year by NWU's History Department.
  • Student Life — $800 from the Nebraska Collegiate Consortium to Reduce High Risk Drinking. Funds will be used to train six staff members on the use of BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) and to provide incentives to encourage students to complete the College Alcohol Profile in order to gather data about student perceptions regarding high-risk drinking behaviors and norms.
  • Religion professor Rita Lester has been awarded a $3,000 grant to conduct follow-up activities to her recent seminar, “Teaching About Islam and the Middle East.” Lester was one of 12 professors in the nation selected for the seminar that sent her to Jordan for three weeks.


Congratulations on receipt of the Pittsburgh Conference grant to fund new HPLC instrumentation. As a long term practitioner of HPLC in the pharmaceutical industry, I know experience using this technology will serve NWU students well for a variety of science careers.
Bernie Olsen, '75


Many thanks. It was much needed. Feel free to stop by and check it out.

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